Residents Have the Right to Privacy in Their Medical Records and Charts
Residents Have the Right to Privacy in Their Medical Records and Charts

Residents Have the Right to Privacy

Pursuant to 42 CFR.483.10(h), privacy and confidentiality. The resident has a right to personal privacy and confidentiality of his or her personal and medical records.

(1) Personal privacy includes accommodations, medical treatment, written and telephone communications, personal care, visits, and meetings of family and resident groups, but this does not require the facility to provide a private room for each resident.

Resident Communications Must Be Kept Confidential

(2) The facility must respect the residents right to personal privacy, including the right to privacy in his or her oral (that is, spoken), written, and electronic communications, including the right to send and promptly receive unopened mail and other letters, packages and other materials delivered to the facility for the resident, including those delivered through a means other than a postal service.

Government Advocates For Residents Can Access Resident Medical Records

(3) The resident has a right to secure and confidential personal and medical records.

(i) The resident has the right to refuse the release of personal and medical records except as provided at §483.70(i)(2) or other applicable federal or state laws.
(ii) The facility must allow representatives of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to examine a resident’s medical, social, and administrative records in accordance with State law.
(i) Safe environment. The resident has a right to a safe, clean, comfortable and homelike environment, including but not limited to receiving treatment and supports for daily living safely. The facility must provide—
(1) A safe, clean, comfortable, and homelike environment, allowing the resident to use his or her personal belongings to the extent possible.
(i) This includes ensuring that the resident can receive care and services safely and that the physical layout of the facility maximizes resident independence and does not pose a safety risk.
(ii) The facility shall exercise reasonable care for the protection of the resident’s property from loss or theft.
(2) Housekeeping and maintenance services necessary to maintain a sanitary, orderly, and comfortable interior;
(3) Clean bed and bath linens that are in good condition;
(4) Private closet space in each resident room, as specified in §483.90(d)(2)(iv);
(5) Adequate and comfortable lighting levels in all areas;
(6) Comfortable and safe temperature levels. Facilities initially certified after October 1, 1990 must maintain a temperature range of 71 to 81  °F; and
(7) For the maintenance of comfortable sound levels.

Please contact elder abuse and neglect Attorney Kenneth LaBore with any questions you may have at 612-743-9048.

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